Today’s Seller Good price or no dice MG TD says they have three project cars and that’s one too many, and MG has drawn the short straw. Let’s see if its price makes it the right choice for a buyer.
I think it’s a shame Nissan couldn’t or wouldn’t license Disney’s Buzz Lightyear character to promote its premium brand. After all, “To Infiniti and Beyond!” just works. Do you want to know what else just works? The asking price of $5,600 last Friday 1991 Infiniti M30 Convertible, That’s what. Many of you praised this award in the comments, and that praise was reflected in the vote with the convertible cruiser taking a reasonably respectable 59% win over Nice Price.
Journalist and author Tom Brokaw enshrined the American people who survived the Great Depression and fought in World War II as “The Greatest Generation”. That’s a fair assessment and it wasn’t just the people who came out of those two major events to make the world a better place, there were a number of cars that did too.
One of the major programs The Greatest Generation set up after the war was the Marshall Plan, a global effort led by victorious Allied nations to invest in the national infrastructure of nations, friends and former foes, whose economies had been devastated by the conflict. . This led to the rapid re-engagement of industry and agriculture, thus preventing the economic collapse that had plagued many countries after World War I.
In the United States, another program, the GI Bill, created opportunities for those returning from war and their families to gain education and employment that would otherwise have been inaccessible. This confluence of programs and stimuli led both to an increase in industrial production on a global scale and to a fairly affluent public in the United States eager to purchase all of these manufactured goods.
One of the beneficiaries of all this government largesse was the MG Car Company, a subsidiary of Morris and manufacturer of small, lightweight sports cars and pre-war saloons. American GIs discovered MG’s Midget sports cars while stationed in Britain during the war. A few of them went so far as to buy and ship home the tiny skinny-wheeled roadsters. This opportunity led MG to begin exports of its TC model as quickly as possible after the company restarted automobile production in 1945.
The only US-market accommodation made to the TC was the adoption of standard US 7-inch sealed-beam headlights. The rest of the car was still as sold in Britain, with right-hand drive and narrow 17-inch wheels.
In 1950 the TC was supplanted by the TD, and with this model and many other layouts were made for the Americans. This made a lot of sense at the time since the United States was quickly becoming MG’s biggest market. Changes included a five-inch wider body than the TC for more cabin space, smaller (and more readily available in the US) 15-inch wheels and tires, and most importantly, the availability of the drive to the left. There were many other updates to the TD, including independent front suspension and a revised rear differential, but the drivetrain, including the 54-hp 1250cc OHV four-speed manual transmission, remained. .
The TD would end up being the best-selling edition of the Midget with over 30,000 built. Of these, more than three-quarters came to the United States between 1950 and 1955 when the car was replaced by the TF.
This 1952MG TD is described by its seller as a “restomod”. This is due to mix-and-match updates that were applied, including a 2137cc four on a 1964 Triumph TR4A. This engine was factory rated at 104 horsepower, almost double what the MG’s original factory was able to offer. The Triumph’s four-speed transmission has also been installed so the power doesn’t cut a gear in half at the first hard application of the throttle. An additional advantage of the latest engine is the more modern alternator producing electricity. This should give the headlights a bit more power.
Other updates include the later setup of MGA front suspension and disc brakes to help tame all those extra ponies. There are plenty of other updates and rebuilds noted in the announcement. Also, the paint (BRG, appropriately) and the tires are new.
The downside of the larger Triumph mill (aside from the Zenith carbs in place of the MG’s original, lovely SU’s) is the inability to mount the engine cowling to these carbs. It is kind of a shame. Other issues include silver paint instead of chrome on the bumpers, heavy wear on the dash below the switchgear, and light surface rust on the frame. Other than that, and the apparent absence of the car’s side curtains, everything looks very functional and ready to go. The title is clean and the car has old plates so registration shouldn’t be a problem.
Now, before discussing the asking price of this TD, I must point out that the prices of the MG are on the whole criminally low. For some reason, the Abingdon-based automaker has never seen any of its mainstream models enjoy the kind of increase in value like, say, Porsche or even Triumph.
That means MGs can end up being some of the best value in the classic sports car market. Now we will have to see if this TD follows this line.
The seller is asking $18,000 for the car, saying the MG Midget and Porsche 914 projects take up the majority of their time. What do you say, at this price, is this “restomod” MG worth our time? Or is it too big for this little dwarf?
H/T to David Lepard for the hookup!
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